Birmingham & Black Country

Patient's sepsis symptoms missed by Dudley hospital staff

Simon Smith Image copyright Family
Image caption Simon Smith pictured on holiday, three weeks before his hospital admission in July

A hospital being investigated over concerns about its sepsis treatment delayed giving antibiotics to a patient with the condition who later died.

Simon Smith, who had a history of leg swelling, went to Dudley's Russells Hall Hospital in July in severe pain.

Despite displaying sepsis symptoms on 28 July, he only got suitable drugs on 2 August, a report into his care found.

Dudley Group NHS trust said it had found "significant areas of learning", and improvements had been made.

Image copyright Family
Image caption Natalie Billingham died in March last year after staff at the hospital failed to recognise she had sepsis

The report found the first chance to give antibiotics was missed when the 51-year-old father of two, from Dudley, had a high temperature and heart rate.

Five days later they were prescribed after a nurse doing a drug round, nearly two hours late, recognised Mr Smith was drowsy.

After a period in intensive care and despite a "do not resuscitate" notice being issued, he pulled through and was discharged in October.

Mr Smith, who worked as an installer, was later readmitted with a different infection and died on 1 November.

A post-mortem test found he died because of liver failure as a result of sepsis.

Image copyright Family
Image caption Mr Smith died in November last year

Mr Smith's wife Hayley, who has worked at the hospital as a data collector for 16 years, criticised the trust.

"I have not got faith. It's their practice. It doesn't give you much confidence.

"I am alone now. They just took him away from me and all the chances we had were taken," she said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMarina Tranter said her daughter Natalie Billingham's death left six children without a mother

By October, when Mr Smith was readmitted for the final time, the trust was reporting weekly to the CQC.

The report into Mr Smith's care found sepsis screening began but stopped with no explanation.

Chief executive Diane Wake said: "We are expecting the issues Simon's family raised with us to be fully and openly disclosed at the inquest.

"Unfortunately, as this is now with the coroner, I am unable to comment in any more detail and await the coroner's conclusion."

She added the trust's medical director had met Mr Smith's family on a number of occasions and shared findings with them.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites